Are you the type of person to keep all of your emotional energy to yourself? When others ask you how you are, you say "amazing thank you" Even though inwardly you're really not so 'amazing'? Do you ever feel like youre a ticking timer ready to go off?
As I've spoken about before, anxiety can catch us all. It comes when we least expect it and it hits us hard, so hard it will knock the wind out of you. Leave you breathless. Make you feel paranoid. Make you feel isolated and alone. It can take over your everyday life if you let it.
Do you remember when you first learned to drive a car? You were so aware of everything. You constantly checked the side mirrors, rear view mirror, you had to look to see what gear you should be in. You couldn't talk to your passenger for fear of losing concentration. You could barely even listen to the radio. What are you like when you drive now? 3, 10, 20 years later? You get into the car, do all of the above, hold indebt conversations, sing along to Beyoncé's full album and you just drive without even thinking right? That's because you're in automatic thought process. You just know what to do so you repeat the same steps over and over again.
Well anxiety is a little bit like that. What happens is you get a thought, that thought turns into ten thoughts and over time you go into automatic thought process where you genuinely think the same thoughts over and over again. This is amazing if they are constructive and positive thoughts however if they are causing you anxiety, they more than likely are a negative thought process.
Now its time to go back to being aware, just like you were when you first started learning to drive.
In order to control that anxiety, you must take control of your thoughts. Become aware of the pattern. Take each thought at a time and note how each thought makes you feel. Will your thought become real? Are you physically being affected by your thought? Are you hurt? Is your thought about the future? Do you have control over what will happen? If you've answered no to any of the above questions then why are you thinking that thought? It's time to change them into a positive.
For example, I have been living in London 6 years now. About three years in I used to have a repetitive thought that if I didn't move home to ireland something bad would happen to my friends and family. (Deep right?) This thought was triggered by home sickness that caused anxiety to the point where I couldn't sleep, eat, pretty much couldn't function. I knew I had to stop this thought process so I then spent time writing down all the good things that could happen to them no matter where I was in the world. Every time I had that negative thought, I would simply change it and think about all of the amazing opportunities that were going to happen to them instead. Soon after, that thought just disappeared! What a relief that was/ is.
It's all about being aware. Being mindful of your thoughts that come and go and if they are actually good for you. Be mindful today. Note the 'negative' thoughts that come to your mind and ask yourself if they are real or not. If not , turn that bad boy into a positive.
Do you dance in the rain or hide from it?
Do you see the shadow or the light?
The choice is yours!